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Skills Pointless?


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^Because side growth is MUCH harder to do.

 

PoP armours being tank vs Nex Offence is meant to be side growth; but PoP is all but useless as Nex is better.

Potatoes were meant to be side growth to fish, but are all but useless as fish are faster to get and use.

Farming was meant to be a side growth way of getting many cooking supplies, but much of that is redundant as its still faster to grab potatoes or onions or w/e from the pre-grown fields.

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You say that, but LoL doesn't seem to have that problem. Well... it does, they just manage it far better.

 

Jagex aren't faultless when it comes to power creep. They've catered to it at almost every available opportunity, and the consequence is them having to rebalance the game month after month after month.

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LoL doesn't have that issue because it is a fundamentally different game.

 

LoL literally has 1 dimension of what the gameplay is (fighting).

LoL doesn't have long-term progress as such, the major progress is levelling and buying items in each round.

Playing LoL you are always going to start as equal to everyone and progress at roughly the same pass through the round and can therefore react to what others are doing on a live basis.

Playing LoL you have different skills that you are locked in to for the game.

There is limited funds you can get to upgrade.

The summation being in any given game there's people you can go toe to toe with, there's people you just can't deal with and there's people you annihilate. And it varies from game to game due to the interplay of different characters and the nuances of item routes chosen.

 

Playing Runescape thousands have already been there done that, there is a huge array of different things to do with no one central aim, everyone is at different stages and everyone is locked in to the exact same skill set. You can range or mage or melee you can use your prayers and your foods and your potions; there is no way a character can be fundamentally better than you because you have it all and it is designed with you having it all in mind. Equally no equipment limitations exist really as money is infinite.

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A game is always a closed mathematical set. As such you can use a lot of theory on balancing and very well know how things my example formula is a very rough abstraction I showed. But theoretical game design study has many of those models that help predict balance and provide it. Of course perfect balance is nearly impossible to achieve: as it is very hard, almost impossible to model all effects. However the goal of updates should be side growth and never power inflation - that is a fundamentally different goal.

First they came to fishing

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't fishing

 

Then they came to the yews

and I didn't speak out because I didn't cut yews

 

Then they came for the ores

and I didn't speak out because I didn't collect ores

 

Then they came for me

and there was no one left to speak out for me.

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Rune staying the highest doesn't scale in the long term.

 

EDIT: I would be interested in an MMO where the smithable gear actually scales over time, so that at first rune takes 99, but then later on that goes down as more people master the technique and teach it to other smithers, and then a new type of armor is invented and becomes the top tier smithable armor. That could work fairly well.

that would be kinda epic lol.

 

I was saying food is not as useful as it was pre summoning and pre soulsplit. Those updates ruined food more than jsut eoc.:P

 

skills are one thing that makes rs unique though.

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Side growth is incredibly difficult, because players will min-max and determine what the best thing is. You don't have much metagame except in PVP situations. The player will use the same game theory to determine what makes them excell. The player's goal is to win, but the desire is fun. Most players don't play to have fun, they play to win. You need to design the game such that winning is what is fun. You need to build the fun into the winning.

 

League has fundamental design which enables them to continually expand sideways by making characters have weaknesses that a player can exploit. It is difficult to get a boss to exploit a weakness, because you have to redesign AI for each new "equipment". If the bosses don't change, then we simply min-max which armor is best for a particular scenario and say "XYZ" is best.

 

You could try to make various things good in different scenarios, but the fundamental equations in Runescape make that difficult. They don't really allow for varying armor types to actually matter because defense is just a "hit chance" plus lifepoints. Higher life points doesn't lead to a huge increase in healing potential either though. Also, we don't really have support type abilities.. And because defense is a hit chance, it platues to the point where more defense doesn't help enough to bother, and higher offense (more dmg) is fundamentally better.

 

You can't really fix that without designing the game very differently.

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Perhaps some of you can help me with a dilemma I am having. As I was playing today, I thought about how skills seem to be useless. For example: runecrafting. Let's say I want to craft some air runes. If I were to purchase rune essence and craft it into air runes, I would spend more money than I would have just purchasing the air runes. While this may not be the case for more expensive runes such as law runes, I could make more money in another method and then probably purchase more law runes than I could make in the time it took me to make that money.

 

So can someone tell me: Is RuneScape really just all about the skill cape? Is there really a point to having high stats other than being on the high scores? If there's something I'm missing here please point it out to me. This really stunts my motivation and I am thinking of leaving the game for good.

 

Many thanks.

 

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Again you're thinking it from a combat perspective.. Combat is only a small part of the equation: one could also make the game more balanced by other skills.

First they came to fishing

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't fishing

 

Then they came to the yews

and I didn't speak out because I didn't cut yews

 

Then they came for the ores

and I didn't speak out because I didn't collect ores

 

Then they came for me

and there was no one left to speak out for me.

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Not necessarily when training those skills essentially boils down to a cost / rate of experience gain equation. Meaning even more emphasis is placed on acquiring gold, meaning even more emphasis is placed on the most profitable money making methods in the game. Which in RuneScape's case is PvM.

 

To be fair, Jagex are designing with one arm tied behind their back in regards to controlling power creep. The game purposefully minimises the influence of player skill--the number of bots in profitable and viable money making activities, and perpetually weak PvP scene is testament to that--meaning you can't really control power creep along that dimension, and as Myr explained, the design of RuneScape means you can't control it by introducing incomparables either. On the other hand, you have a constantly growing pressure from player expectations to release new (and not irrelevant) content. One of the very few options Jagex have is to introduce ever more powerful armours and weapons into the game to match that expectation, but this just about the worst thing you can do from a power creep perspective because it makes previous tiers of the equipment comparatively useless, and therefore unprofitable to 'farm', and also makes "skills" even more redundant than they were previously.

 

It's really impossible to separate "the rest of RuneScape" from PvM combat. The economics of the game are so intrinsically linked to its PvM model that it's just not realistic outside of a very few niche (and most likely 'inefficient') activities, such as those performed by DIY accounts.

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The problem with calling skills is "pointless" is how you define pointless. If you say that a skill has a point if it allows you to make money efficiently, then yes, everything outside combat is pointless.

 

But then there's experience. Experience and levels have been an integral part of Runescape since its inception. Experience is everything. People play to get XP and 99's, or even XP past 99. Getting a high level in one skill often allows you to get experience faster in other skills. But there are several skills that provide absolutely no benefit to other skills. In that respect, you could also call those skills useless (agility comes to mind).

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Agility Provides the ability to catch fish barehanded, multiple loot per pickpocket, barehanded catching butterflies etc.

 

Vague, but not entirely useless.

 

Perhaps one way to alleviate that issue would be to introduce a boss where skills are actually involved in killing the boss?

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the design of RuneScape means you can't control it by introducing incomparables either

 

Why keep religiously attached to this "design"? Eoc & rs3 are all good reasons to throw the sail over the other side and change that. All those ideas so readily dismissed by myr should already be implemented with eoc, and with rs3 should find their way to the others skills.

 

@chenw: I am thinking more like... Add high level skilling things that feel like a boss themself. Like a "living furnace" you have to sustain for a minute to smith a certain piece of armour, this furnace would require things like a hybrid between the blast furnace and nex, and you would need at least a dragon pickaxe / dragon hammers (in other words; risk items that themself are hard to get). But instead of beating up that monster you simply craft something over the process. You smithing (& mining / whatever) level would not only be a requirement initially, but moreover also speed up the process significantly to the point making it actually feasible.

Now this would be the only way to get this new shield/whatever.

 

 

That way skills are actually USED.

 

They could go very wide with this approach, as they could create different bosses for many different "combinations" of skills.

First they came to fishing

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't fishing

 

Then they came to the yews

and I didn't speak out because I didn't cut yews

 

Then they came for the ores

and I didn't speak out because I didn't collect ores

 

Then they came for me

and there was no one left to speak out for me.

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Level 80 armour will become irrelevant compared to level 90 armour, because so many people already have level 90 defence, and for those that don't, it's not a huge amount of work to reach level 90 from 80. Similarly the second barrier of the cost if surpassed by many, and surpassable by more.

 

If on the other hand the highest tier of gear was wearable at 120 defence, the level 110 defence gear would still hold value, as would the level 100, and level 90. (bomb dropped, I know.) Although it's not a plan with any expected longevity, the same problem will reoccur just further down the line.

 

It would certainly bring more variety to the PvM side of the game, where a large proportion of people are all maxed, or very close to it.

 

There was variety when I started PvM - "Let's take the level 116, he's only 70 defence, but he has 85 attack, 96 strength and an AGS" - "Let's take the level 226, he's got 114 attack 103 strength and 100 def, he's got a godly shadow sword, but he's also got a battleaxe of the keen, and since he's over 109 attack he can use it to its full potential with the ultimate version of its attack".

 

Basically the gear needs to be splayed better between accounts, as it's pretty ridiculous that 30% of all accounts can use the greatest weapons there are.

 

PS Quite love the skilling boss idea as mentioned above by Pulli.

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they said they wouldnt raise any skills to 120...That would just encourage mega grinding...but yea may people have epic combat stats :P

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Firemaking - always been rather pointless

Not untill ranges were implement and they stopped giving different chance to burn.

Before fishing was implemented, what could you cook on a fire? Stew?

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Agility Provides the ability to catch fish barehanded, multiple loot per pickpocket, barehanded catching butterflies etc. Vague, but not entirely useless.

 

Don't forget, higher Agility also used to allow you to run for a longer period of time. Until the run update, it was a very useful bonus.

 

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the design of RuneScape means you can't control it by introducing incomparables either

 

Why keep religiously attached to this "design"? Eoc & rs3 are all good reasons to throw the sail over the other side and change that. All those ideas so readily dismissed by myr should already be implemented with eoc, and with rs3 should find their way to the others skills.

 

@chenw: I am thinking more like... Add high level skilling things that feel like a boss themself. Like a "living furnace" you have to sustain for a minute to smith a certain piece of armour, this furnace would require things like a hybrid between the blast furnace and nex, and you would need at least a dragon pickaxe / dragon hammers (in other words; risk items that themself are hard to get). But instead of beating up that monster you simply craft something over the process. You smithing (& mining / whatever) level would not only be a requirement initially, but moreover also speed up the process significantly to the point making it actually feasible.

Now this would be the only way to get this new shield/whatever.

 

 

That way skills are actually USED.

 

They could go very wide with this approach, as they could create different bosses for many different "combinations" of skills.

 

You misunderstand me. EoC and RS3 are prime opportunities to enable such a thing. But by evidence of EoC you can see that it did not work. They tried to make more types of armors but those niche cases don't really exist. Increased damage is still better.

 

I formulated my argument around combat and armors because someone brought up that rune should remain the same.

 

You can make the argument about other aspects. They did not really bother with balancing new content appropriately because few people at Jagex appear to have the same ability as top-tier players when it comes to balance, and they also have to factor in the fun as well. Other skills can be done well, dungeoneering is quite fun, if not entirely fitting into rs (it really feels like a seperate minigame)... it doesn't really have purpose outside itself and niche rewards but that's ok. Plenty of people play just to do dungeoneering.

 

Fewer people (they do exist but not many) play to perform individual skills for the skill itself.

 

Most players perform skills for the end goal of either gp, or ranks/lvls/capes. You can change this by creating methods which create money, or provide value. Ex: magic is used all over the place for spells and teleports. Cooking is used primarily to generate fish for combat. Fishing while it does generate fish is not used to generate fish for cooking, because that is a byproduct of getting xp. Not many people fish for the fish more than the xp... (outside of dungeoneering etc).

 

They could add more shortcuts and such, but they usually keep adding teleports to new areas instead of relying on shortcuts. There are a lot of places I would like to see agility/thieving/etc based shortcuts that could just help shorten certain travel times and so on.. Especially if they made the shortcuts auto-path so that if you click past a fence, it will use agility to hop it, and if you click through a closed gate you can use thieving to pick the lock etc...

 

But most of those types of places don't really exist, because you just teleport to the city you want to go too. Again this could be changed but it is not in the current design.

 

Farming has value, as it is primarly used to generate herbs, and many people continue to farm herbs after reaching 99..

 

Herblore has use in creating potions but mainly only in the untradables due to the max-cape mentality.

 

They could easily fix these things but they tend not too, because certain types of updates are easier and appeal to the larger groups of players.

 

Smithing has issues because they haven't created a slot based system for armor and items. If they had this type of setup, it would be much more useful where you can combine crafting and smithing to slot gems or powerups into armors. So you obtain only the base armor types from places, and then you make or obtain gems of various types to modify things.

 

This is the sort of direction I would really love if they went but EoC was the best time and the failed.

 

They could have added neat little effects onto gems, and sure players would min-max things but if you made adding gems untradable (aka you have to take out gems to trade, and you can't trade all the gems) you can add special bonuses like "this gem decreases cooldown on an ability or increases its damage", or gives you minor poison bonus, or damage suction etc. They could have actually introduced burning etc...

 

Lots of things they could do but did not go that route. They could add abilities to various skills which require skill level in one skill but benefit another. They could add more puzzle-based types of training where you can be less grinding but still require skill and still give output. (but not quite as over the top as dungeoneering)

 

The thing is, these things haven't been done, and they *are* fairly fundamental design issues, as well as player atmosphere issues. Reaching max takes long enough that people focus heavily on being efficient to save as much time as possible. This culture means that players tend to min-max so that they can do that as fast as possible and ignore content outside of this.

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The thing is, these things haven't been done, and they *are* fairly fundamental design issues, as well as player atmosphere issues.

 

And this is what I think is fundamentally wrong. With skilling becoming more and more a thing just about xp, and all skills starting to look more and more alike (bonfires made firemaking exactly the same as cooking) runescape is devaluating a lot.

 

 

But why can't they add "bosses" like I mentioned above: bosses where the reward is processing of a certain material, and you do not "fight" it directly but rather you simply use skills to survive. A boss also doesn't have to be a monster: it could also be an environment or inanimate object that is simply "dangerous to handle".

First they came to fishing

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't fishing

 

Then they came to the yews

and I didn't speak out because I didn't cut yews

 

Then they came for the ores

and I didn't speak out because I didn't collect ores

 

Then they came for me

and there was no one left to speak out for me.

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Smithing has issues because they haven't created a slot based system for armor and items. If they had this type of setup, it would be much more useful where you can combine crafting and smithing to slot gems or powerups into armors. So you obtain only the base armor types from places, and then you make or obtain gems of various types to modify things.

 

This is the sort of direction I would really love if they went but EoC was the best time and the failed.

 

They could have added neat little effects onto gems, and sure players would min-max things but if you made adding gems untradable (aka you have to take out gems to trade, and you can't trade all the gems) you can add special bonuses like "this gem decreases cooldown on an ability or increases its damage", or gives you minor poison bonus, or damage suction etc. They could have actually introduced burning etc...

 

They came close with shade skulls, the vine whip, and chaotic spikes, all which can upgrade weapons (staves and the abyssal whip, respectively). Oh, and the necromancer kits.

 

I admit the shade skulls and necromancer kits were pretty failboat in any terms of practicality. So much work for so little reward, and I'm guessing that reward was relatively useless to those who got it (it was for me). I seem to remember that vine whips were more desirable, however, and I found the abyssal vine whip to be relatively useful pre-EOC.

 

The way I understood EOC design to be was that Abilities effectively took the place of Special Attacks, and was meant to be fairly evenly distributed to range and mage as well as melee. That seemed moderately fair to me, as each combat style has similar Abilities (DoT, AoE, etc.) But there were SAs that were not like how Abilities are now. And then Jagex decided to fit poison to this same model: give poison to all combat style attack types. The EOC treatment of poison... well, I know peeps got their opinions. I liked that Thok-style EOC poison supposedly created demand as weapon poison potions were now drinkable, but I can't be sure that Abilities apply poison the same way SAs did.

 

Then Jagex removed disease; I guess it was a tacit admission that they didn't think it fit the EOC template. While players never had access to it, I think that it made zogres/skogres interesting for me, but then they decided to make them fire magic-weak, and it's just not the same groove anymore (as brutal arrows are rather worthless there, and I liked ranging there to relax).

 

I agree EOC was the optimal time to introduce an idea like slots, and based on the examples of existing code I gave above, I think they could have done it, but, they didn't. Maybe if the beta had lasted longer, but that dissolves into so much coulda, shoulda, woulda.

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I'd like to point out that upgrading weapons is a terrible mechanic because it prevents the low level item from being used by low levels. For example, if you take a level 70 weapon and add something to it to make it a level 90 weapon, the level 70 weapon gets priced close to what a level 90 weapon, making it nearly impossible with someone between level 70 and 80 to use it.

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I'd like to point out that upgrading weapons is a terrible mechanic because it prevents the low level item from being used by low levels. For example, if you take a level 70 weapon and add something to it to make it a level 90 weapon, the level 70 weapon gets priced close to what a level 90 weapon, making it nearly impossible with someone between level 70 and 80 to use it.

One reason for them to stick to low-level items that are either reasily available or are quest rewards. Would anyone complain complain if they gave other weapons the Balmung treatment? Items like the Gadderhammer, Darklight, Keris, and Zanik's Bow would be great for this purpose.

 

Or maybe I just really want 'bane' weapons to be genuinely useful.

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Upgrading works fine as long as the upgrade item is difficult to find and the upgraded weapon is easily obtainable. Ex: player crafted items which get upgraded with monster drops.

 

I would love to see armor all become basic, like rune, dragon etc. Then add slots for unique gems and such that are dropped by bosses and slayer monsters. So you insert say 1-4 gems into a rune plate and it gains unique abilities that allow you to customize it and make it better. The idea is that you can insert them into rune armor or dragon armor.. but no longer needing hybrid, etc gear. You could have slotted items which give that sort of bonus though. This would somewhat drive the price of these items up (dragon especially) but if everyone could add slots, (just not all slots) and there were higher tier base armors that would be ok. Rune is so plentiful if it became useful again it would still be fairly accessible because of how much is made for training.

 

Another issue with Runescape's equipment and character design (which is on purpose) is that there are no "classes". This is awesome, but causes issues because you are not forced into a single class. This does enable hybriding, but it also makes it difficult because you can easily switch (mid battle!) between classes, meaning your weakness doesn't matter as much. There's little limitation on swapping gear mid battle, so you can simply bring what you need and swap. In addition their actual gear setups make true hybriding impossible, (ie: dual wield and use two styles at once) because of accuracy penalties. Even hybrid armor which doesn't have this penalty gains its own penalty of massive stat drop.

 

I would love to see more skilling-like bosses, like a boss that can only be damaged by mining it. I would also love to see more diversification of skills so things feel different.

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Love people in this thread grasping at straws. Most skills are useless except to get a cape. You can make money faster doing some things that don't require skilling.

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It depends on what your goal is. Dungeoneering (effectively a minigame-skill), I consider fun in itself. Other skills, not so much. Most skill methods for obtaining money are worse than free gathering, which is a mistake. (Those items which are free gathered should ALL be converted to require some skill to get to or pick up etc, in order to balance out and spread out secondary and primary ingredients better)

 

Other areas of skilling have some benefits, farming (at high level) is fairly useful for herbs, but that requires getting fairly high *and* gathering the necessary untradable bonuses, which requires multiple skills and loyalty bonuses and livid farming to unlock..

 

The main reason skills are useless is that players enjoy combat, so Jagex releases combat bosses. We've seen several bosses "recently" compared to other updates for skilling update. Not to mention updates and tweaks to combat in general. These updates drive excitement so Jagex focuses development on them, which further moves the game towards skill for capes alone.

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I would love to see armor all become basic, like rune, dragon etc. Then add slots for unique gems and such that are dropped by bosses and slayer monsters. So you insert say 1-4 gems into a rune plate and it gains unique abilities that allow you to customize it and make it better. The idea is that you can insert them into rune armor or dragon armor.. but no longer needing hybrid, etc gear. You could have slotted items which give that sort of bonus though. This would somewhat drive the price of these items up (dragon especially) but if everyone could add slots, (just not all slots) and there were higher tier base armors that would be ok. Rune is so plentiful if it became useful again it would still be fairly accessible because of how much is made for training.

 

I have to ask-- is this in any way inspired by how slots were done in Diablo 2? It wouldn't be the first time Jagex has taken a Blizzard idea (HP/LP bars, for one), especially Diablo ones, but, just asking.

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